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MONEY CAN’T BE DIVORCED FROM ELECTIONS - MARWICK

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LOBAMBA – While the nation hopes for answers on allegations of bribery to secure votes, seasoned MP Marwick Khumalo says it’s impossible to divorce money from elections.

The Lobamba Lomdzala Member of Parliament (MP) said this when making a submission during the nomination of aspiring regional women MPs at the House of Assembly yesterday. This happened just before the start of the exercise, where Khumalo stood up to make a submission that was directed to some of the women who had come to be nominated by the MPs.

Nominate

“As we are about to begin this exercise, we have heard that some of the people we have come to nominate have publicly claimed that they have not paid money to anyone to secure votes. These people are the very same ones we are here to nominate,” the seasoned politician submitted. He then posed a question in vernacular, saying; “Anikakhiphi imali lefunwe bobani?

Aspiring

Loosely translated, this means; “You are saying you did not pay any money, who asked for it?”.He then questioned as to who exactly had asked for money from them. Since the aspiring MPs choose to go to the media to make such claims, the MP said they should not expect the MPs to vote for them.

“The important thing to note is that when it comes to elections, the issue of money is covered in law. What is left is for the Legislature to fix the law that relates to the election of senators. “This will allow the component of using money to campaign to be accommodated,” Khumalo said. He then maintained his stance, that in as far as the election exercise was concerned, it was impossible to divorce it from the money element.

Campaigns

Elaborating, Khumalo said even in the election of the 59 MPs at the constituencies, none of them could claim that they never spent some money during their campaigns. Again, he spoke in vernacular saying, “Akuyekelwe lokutsi bese bantfu batishaya bo-Jesus ngatsi”, which means, “People should stop acting like Jesus at our expense.”
He said it was disappointing to hear the statements from the aspiring MPs, and warned that there should be less talk if people seriously wanted to be voted for. When called later on the day, Khumalo stated that he was referring to the Elections Expenses Act No.5 of 2013.

Supervision

This is an Act which provides for the supervision and administration of election expenses and provides for a regime of accountability for funds used for election campaigns. “We are given forms to fill, that have a requirement of the amount of money that one will spend as a candidate. “The problem is that, as I said, the Legislature needs to have a similar provision in the Senate Elections Act, as well as in the Election of Regional Women Act,” Khumalo said.

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